Objectives: To assess how girls' preferences have changed almost 3 years after the much debated start of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program. Methods: A discrete choice experiment (DCE) was conducted among girls aged 11-15 years who were invited, or were not yet invited, to get vaccinated. A panel latent class model was used to determine girls' preferences for vaccination based on five characteristics: degree of protection against cervical cancer; duration of protection; risk of mild side-effects; age of vaccination; and the number of required doses of the vaccine. Results: The response rate was 85% (500/592). Most girls preferred vaccination at age 14 years (instead of at age 9 years) and a 2-dose scheme (instead of the current 3-dose scheme). Girls were willing to trade-off 7% (CI: 3.2% to 10.8%) of the degree of protection to have 10% less risk of mild side-effects, and 4% (CI: 1.2% to 5.9%) to receive 2 doses instead of 3 doses. Latent class analyses showed that there was preference heterogeneity among girls, i.e., higher educated girls and HPV vaccinated girls had a higher probability to opt for HPV vaccination at a higher age than lower educated girls or non-vaccinated girls. Conclusions: Three years after the start of HPV vaccination program the risk of mild side-effects and age at vaccination seem to have become less important. For the Dutch national immunization program, we recommend not to lower the current target age of 12 years. A 2-dose scheme may result in a higher uptake and we recommend that if this scheme is introduced, it needs to receive adequate publicity.

dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0104772, hdl.handle.net/1765/88364
Department of Public Health

Hofman, R, de Bekker-Grob, E.W, Richardus, J.H, de Koning, H.J, van Ballegooijen, M, & Korfage, I.J. (2014). Have preferences of girls changed almost 3 years after the much debated start of the HPV vaccination program in the Netherlands? A discrete choice experiment. PLoS ONE, 9(8). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104772